Getting Played

I’m getting a tad hoarse objecting to the meme that the Republican Party is engaged in a struggle for its very soul between “moderates” like Bobby Jindal and Marco Rubio and Eric Cantor and Karl Rove and crazy people like Todd Akin and Christine O’Donnell. If you still need convincing, James Vega and J.P. Green and I have just put out a memo under the auspices of The Democratic Strategist patiently explaining all over again that the intra-GOP differences, where they exist at all, are strategic and tactical, not ideological.

But while I am flagging in my labors, Charles Pierce is just getting warmed up. Have an appropriate beverage and enjoy him sending up the latest example of the above meme, as maintained, of course, by Politico‘s VandeHei and Allen:

Over at Tiger Beat On The Potomac, there’s a real buyer’s market for the Brooklyn Bridge, Florida swampland, knockoff Rolexes, and large bags of magic beans. The two presiding geniuses there today have chipped in with a Behind The Curtain feature about how you know that the Republican party is remaking itself anew because Dick Morris and Sarah Palin lost their gigs at Fox News, and because…”BOBBY” JINDAL! EEEEEKKK!!!!….

Not much gets past the two presiding geniuses. Richard Mourdock and Todd Akin were genuinely terrible candidates. Dick Morris’s record for predicting things was decidedly worse than that of the octopus who used to pick the winners of soccer matches. And Sarah Palin was a public dolt. From these things, and many more, the American people decided that the Republican party, and the conservative movement that gives the party its inimitable je ne sais quoi, had gone insane. The authors figured this out on Tuesday, I believe….

[D]oesn’t the fact that Fox has walked in lockstep with the rebranding con that the Republicans are trying to pull generally pretty much prove that it’s basically still a propaganda vehicle?….

Look, kidz. You’re being played. There is no sign of moderation in Republican politics. The obstruction goes merrily on in Washington. It’s just targeted better. In the states, the wild things are still at play, as we shall see in a later post. The problem isn’t the way people talk about the policies. It’s about the policies. People would have come to the same conclusion they came to about Willard Romney if the 47 percent tape never had surfaced. The Republican party is still radically anti-choice. It’s just going to be more careful how it tosses around the word, “rape.” “Bobby” Jindal is as much an extremist as Todd Akin ever was. The fact that he returns your calls is irrelevant.

I would imagine Pierce shares my conviction that we can howl about it all we want without denting this meme, since much of MSM journalism would crumble without the assumption the two major parties are by definition equally composed of “moderates” and “ideologues” in a dynamic that ever leads towards bipartisan compromise in the Center. If it requires calling stone ideologues like Rubio and Jindal “moderates” or remaking Fox News into the Voice of Conservative Reason, so be it.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.